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Charities and not-for-profit organisations are busy in our community filling the gaps governments and companies miss. In order for these organisations to continue to exist, they need to maintain funding and financial viability. They also need to show outcomes and measureable results (impact).

Trust in an organisation is vital to success. A recent Charity Commission for England & Wales report linked trust to donation behaviour. The greater the trust, the more the donor will repeat giving (money or time) to the charity. Donors want charities to;

  • be well run,
  • live their values,
  • & demonstrate impact.

Communication is key to all of this. If you can communicate your impact to others, then they are more likely to support your organisation. The Impact Suite is helping charities.  Funders, donors and partnering organisations come to The Impact Suite to identify the well run charities that live their values and demonstrate impact. This is summarised on a charity’s profile page with a Lotus Rating.

Impact is not the same for every organisation. Some may have a narrow purpose, and others may have to service Australia’s wide geography… apples, oranges, and pears. What is common is being able to explain what you do (purpose) and how you might measure that (impact).

We get asked by a number of charities how to define impact. There is no definitive answer, rather each organisation can consider areas of primary or secondary impact they may have. The following are a list of thought-starters based off common ACNC charity types…

1. Advancing Health

 

Primary Impact

Saving lives

Reducing pain and suffering in short and long term

Reducing incidences of sickness through early intervention

Improving outcomes through effective transportation.

 

Secondary Impact

Reducing time off work

Reducing costs of illness including insurance and sick leave

Minimising spread of disease

Reducing stress on loved ones

 

2. Advancing Education

 

Primary Impact

Sharing useful knowledge

Getting individuals ‘Job Ready’

Self-esteem

 

Secondary Impact

Creating a stronger and better performing workforce

Creating a foundation for innovative thinking

 

3. Advancing Social or Public Welfare

 

Primary Impact

Improving Well-being and Quality of Life

Reducing pain and suffering

Reducing social isolation

Health outcomes

Build self-esteem

Sharing knowledge

Reduce depression and suicide

Reduce disease

Supporting people with a disability

Protecting vulnerable people

 

Secondary Impact

Supporting a diverse culture

Reducing welfare dependency

Support communities to return to functionality

Reducing stress on families

Reducing costs on society

 

 

 

4. Advancing Religion

 

Primary Impact

Reducing social isolation

Sharing knowledge

Supporting ‘at-risk’ groups

Well being

Quality of life

 

Secondary Impact

Supporting moral fabric

Cultural

Reducing extremism

 

5. Advancing Culture

Primary Impact

Reducing social isolation

Sharing knowledge

Supporting ‘at-risk’ groups

Well being

Quality of life

Supporting new ideas

Employment

 

Secondary Impact

Providing knowledge for future planning

Cultural

 

 

6. Promoting or Protecting Human Rights

 

Primary Impact

Supporting lifestyle

Reducing pain and suffering

Self-esteem

Sharing knowledge

Reducing loss of life

Sense of self

Reducing social isolation

 

Secondary Impact

Strengthening family bonds

Cultural

Knowledge sharing

 

7. Advancing the Security or Safety of Australia or the Australian Public

 

Primary Impact

Reducing loss of life

Supporting lifestyle

Reducing pain and suffering

Protecting vulnerable people

Teaches

 

Secondary Impact

Strengthens communities

Raises awareness to protect others

Stores and shares knowledge

 

8. Preventing or Relieving the Suffering of Animals

 

Primary Impact

Reduces pain and suffering

Sharing knowledge

Well-being

Reduce costs of animal care

Saving lives

 

Secondary Impact

Environmental

Reducing disease

 

 

9. Advancing the Natural Environment

 

Primary Impact

Reducing social isolation

Well-being

Knowledge sharing

 

Secondary Impact

Cultural

Environmental

Protecting history

 

 

10. Health Promotion Charity

 

Primary Impact

Improving life expectancy and quality of life

Reducing pain and suffering

Saving lives

Employment

Knowledge sharing

 

Secondary Impact

Reducing mortality rates

Future health outcomes

Knowledge sharing

Long-term health benefits

 

11. Public Benevolent Institution

 

Primary Impact

Supporting disadvantaged individuals

Well-being

Quality of life

Reduce pain

Reduce social isolation

Create understanding

Knowledge sharing

 

Secondary Impact

Strengthen community

Cultural